Yasin Malik detained, shutdown hits life in Kashmir (Lead)

April 23rd, 2010 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, April 23 (IANS) Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was detained here Friday as he led a group of people protesting the death penalty awarded to two Kashmiris by a Delhi court for the 1996 Lajpat Nagar blasts. Normal life was also hit due to a separatist shutdown over the issue.
Malik led dozens of his supporters in the uptown Maisuma locality.

“Yasin Malik has been detained by us as he tried to violate Section 144 which is in force in the city,” a police officer said.

Before being whisked away by the police, Malik told reporters he would sit on a day’s hunger strike Wednesday to protest the death sentence given to two Kashmiris.

Senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was also restrained by authorities in his uptown Nigeen residence to prevent him from participating in protests.

Life across the Kashmir Valley was adversely affected because of the shutdown call given by both the moderate and the hardline groups of the Hurriyat conference against the Delhi court verdict.

Shops, public transport, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed here as authorities imposed restrictions in five areas of the Old City to prevent any kind of violence.

Attendance in government offices was minimal due to the non-availability of public transport in the city.

“Restrictions are being enforced in some areas of the Old City to maintain law and order,” a police officer here said.

Reports from other district headquarters of Badgam, Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Baramulla also indicated that life was thrown out of gear due to the separatist shutdown.

Both groups of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, headed respectively by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani, had called for a shutdown across the valley Friday after a court in Delhi Thursday awarded the death penalty to two Kashmiris in the May 2, 1996 Lajpat Nagar bomb blast case in which 13 people were killed.

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